The Let's Play Archive

Might & Magic: Heroes VI

by ApplesandOranges

Part 28: Haven Campaign, Map Two, Part One

Time for our favourite of Slava's children (not really).

Click here to listen the conversation!

I don't need a councilor. I thought I made that clear to the Emperor when I sent Uriel away.

Nonsense. Even I had a dozen councilors at the height of my glory.

I nearly destroyed my Duchy to find just one Faceless. The last thing I need is advice from a General of the Elder Wars. I want peace.

You want peace? Forge it.

Archangel Michael, every time I draw a sword a loved one dies.

If you are afraid to use a sword when you draw it, I suggest you walk with a very sharp stick.

Michael! I've got a dead Baron back from the grave terrorizing my lands, and three of my most loyal barons have declared independence and created a free Alliance of Temperance.

Duke Anton, you stand at the dawn of a Holy War! The demons are coming. If your Barons offer to give you practice, seize the opportunity and embrace it. You were born for war. This is your destiny. Embrace it!

Alright, let's sum up. Anton tore through his duchy, driving out Orcs to find a Faceless who was under his nose the whole time. He captured Baron Djordje, who Salvatore brutally tortured to death. Now Djordje's back as a ghost and wreaking havoc, and we also have civil unrest as Anton's Barons try to declare independence.

Fine job Anton's been doing so far as duke so far, huh? At least Michael's providing a mix of snark and advice.

There are a few friendly stacks and a creature building just north of Anton. We can quickly grab them, but ignore everything else - we want to hit our first town before the week ends to get some new creatures. We'll be back for the rest later.

If we head south, we get another conversation. Remember Kilburn's Lists, which Anastasya claimed for the Skeleton Warriors in her map? Meet Lord Kilburn.

Click here to listen to the conversation!
I've been wandering the Empire, seeking a way to repent for my crimes.

Welcome to the Duchy of Griffin. At least you're not alone. What have you done?

I used to keep lists... lists of everything. It was more than a habit... it was my passion. During banquets, I could tell the lords how many trees were in their gardens and even how many daughters would be of marrying age by next harvest. But then... the Inquisitors came...

And they took your lists, and used them to round up innocent people suspected of conspiring with the Faceless.

You know of my infamy...

No. I know the Inquisition. Please, continue...

Salvatore said that Elrath blessed my work. But I heard the peasants' whispers: 'Donald lost a son to Kilburn's lists... and Jenny a daughter... Priestess Thomassine a husband and Ol' Larry a wife.' Kilburn's lists became a synonym of death, a horrible curse.

I, too, have wrongs to right. I've got three rebellious barons and the ghost of another tryng to tear my duchy apart. You're welcome here... Perhaps you'll find a way to help us both.

And instead of joining us as a Hero or fleeing for the hills, Kilburn becomes a Sun Rider and joins us with 5 of his peers. So I guess he'll be easily killed at some point?

Biography posted:

There are many knights in the Holy Empire, but only those deemed worthy by Elrath himself can join the Order of the Holy Sun. Commonly known as Sun Riders, these champions of the Light ride enchanted steeds summoned from Elrath’s spiritual realm. These magical mounts are said to be able to ride on the faintest ray of light.

    Sun Rider
    Damage: 14-16 (Might)
    Defense: 19 (35%)
    Magic Defense: 10 (21%)
    Health: 90
    Initiative: 35
    Movement: 6 (Walking)
    Range: None
    Destiny: 7
    Morale: 10
    Cost: 410
    Growth: 3/week
    Abilities: Large Creature, Charge, Living

Charge posted:

The legendary charge of the Sun Riders is a sight as beautiful as it is deadly. Many first-hand stories claim that the riders gain force the longer the distance they cover before their attack. Some of this is due to the increased speed of their mounts, but when seen from afar, one would swear that a magical light accumulates around their bodies in an ever-growing aura as they cross each parcel of ground between themselves and their enemy.

As is customary for Cavaliers, the Sun Rider increases damage by 10% for every tile they travel before they attack.

Sun Riders are actually a decent unit, considering they're about 80 gold cheaper than the Griffin but have better health and equal movement, even if they can't fly. Damage is a little low, but they're meant to be used with their Charge ability, which can end up boosting damage fairly high in large numbers. A little frail magically, but their health is solid enough to take a few hits. All in all, a solid, dependable unit, but affected greatly by abilities that affect movement, like Shark Guards' Ferocious Wound.

We start heading south, avoiding most neutral stacks to save time. We hit a Stables along the way, and an Ore Pit and a Sawmill along the way. There's also a Crystal Mine, but it's a bit out of the way so we'll get it later. We also pick up several free Griffins and Sun Riders along the way.

Duke Anton the Usurper! Angel's pet! Revolt! Or die as slaves!

Oh hi Djordje. How's the undeath treating you?

Step down! Let Kiril rule in your stead. Even Sandor would make a better duke. At least he carried himself like his father's son.

I am and shall remain your duke. Sandor's run off, Kiril is missing and my sisters are departed. Let me rule in peace!

Peace!? You're a tyrant, and deserve a tyrant's death.

So from the sounds of things, Anton has no idea what happened to Kiril, and believes Anastasya is dead (believable), but also Irina for some strange reason.

Djordje's army isn't very large, but it's enough that you'll have to take a few losses. Djordje likes to cast Despair on your Sun Riders, and his physical attack is strong enough to wipe out a Sun Rider every time. Frustratingly, his Ghosts and Ghouls are resistant to Might damage, and our Sisters aren't strong enough to be a significant source of damage this fight.

I've defeated him for now, but he'll be back. I have to find the Hidden House and put his spirit too rest.

Still, Djordje gets defeated and flees, and we have a new Haven town. Our job is now to stop the three Barons running around before we can take out Djordje once and for all, and at no point do they explain exactly what the Hidden House is, but that can wait for a bit. We're free from invasions at the moment, and can take some time to go collect all the resources and neutral stacks we missed, and build up our town. Incidentally, where we can build our last Elite creature.

Biography posted:

Vessels of the will of Elrath, the Dragon-God of Light, Radiant Glories are shining spirits who can flare into brilliance and blind their enemies. In the Spirit Realm, Elrath’s dominion is filled with myriads of these creatures. They are often sent as envoys and advisors to Elrath’s most faithful followers. The generals of the Holy Empire soon found a use for these beings of burning light.

    Radiant Glory
    Damage: 14-16 (Magical, Light)
    Defense: 12 (25%)
    Magic Defense: 14 (28%)
    Health: 70
    Initiative: 45
    Movement: 6 (Teleporting)
    Range: None
    Destiny: 7
    Morale: 7
    Cost: 390
    Growth: 3/week
    Abilities: Speed of Light, Cleansing Light, Living, Spirit Form, Vulnerable to Shadow Magic

Speed of Light posted:

Glories are thought to be spirits of pure light, and they attack with blinding speed. An appropriate old saying best explains their power: “Parrying the attack of a Glory is like trying to pin your shadow to the wall.” Try it! It’s not an easy matter.

Radiant Glories teleport, attack, and return all in one move without retaliation. Like Harpies but better.

Cleansing Light posted:

“Glories are to justice what a hammer is to an anvil.” When magic has been used on the battlefield to change the outcome of a fight that a Glory deems just, it brightens in anger emanating a cleansing burst. The will of Elrath is that all battles are won through courage and faith, but never trickery.

Whenever the Glory teleports, it dispells one negative effect from friendly creatures and one positive effect from enemy creatures around the tile it teleports to. If there are multiple effects, the effect removed is random. Glories can't dispell effects on themselves, but can dispel other Glory stacks.

Ahh Glories. They may be a little fragile and their damage aren't superb, especially since Anton's a Might Hero... but really, aside from that, they're fantastic. They give the Haven army a much needed Initiative boost, they make siege battles easier since they can go in and out of the walls without penalty, they dispell effects, they're rarely attacked by the AI since they're preoccupied with your Sun Riders and Griffins, and they're pretty cheap. And even if the enemy gets the first strike, Glories have Spirit Form. Excellent creature all around.

There's also a subterranean tunnel that opens up after Djordje's defeat, which leads to his territory. His castle is blocked off by a gate, but we can head down there anyway.

Ooh, this is new! Marksmen can now choose to use their Piercing Bolt as an activated ability, so now you can choose to use their normal ranged attack instead if the Piercing Bolt would hurt your own creatures. Very very nice. It has no cooldown either. And it also ignores siege penalties and can even be used if the Marksmen have enemy creatures right next to them... but I suppose that's a bug. Still a very nice bug though.

We can still capture Djordje's Fort, and he makes no move to claim it back. We also get access to an Elite creature building (more Glories!) and another set of Mines, so it's all good.

I also get the upgraded Griffin building at this point.

Biography posted:

In the days before the wars between the Elves of Tuidhana and the Holy Empire, the two realms enjoyed times of lasting peace.
During the Years of Healing, Elven smiths were said to have been so impressed by the harmonious bonds Humans had forged with Griffins, that they taught them the secrets of Starsilver. This metal is as strong as it is light, and when properly crafted makes extremely effective armor for the flying beasts. The mysterious Elven glyphs found on the bardings of the Imperial Griffins are remnants of that long forgotten friendship.

    Imperial Griffin
    Damage: 15-20 (Might)
    Defense: 16 (31%)
    Magic Defense: 16 (31%)
    Health: 90
    Initiative: 40
    Movement: 6 (Walking)
    Range: None
    Destiny: 7
    Morale: 8
    Cost: 600
    Growth: 4/week
    Abilities: Large Creature, Unlimited Retaliation, Diving Assault, Living

Diving Assault posted:

Imperial Griffins have spent many years with their human allies, and have learned the tactical importance of weakening an enemy line in battle. When they take to the sky, they return and strike their opponents at the moment they think the greatest danger has passed. As the great Emperor Connor the 1st once said, “We’re never outnumbered, for as long as we have a Griffin with a breast plate who can still fly.”

Diving Assault replaces the Diving Attack, and causes the Imperial Griffins to attack a 2-tile line rather than a selected creature at the end of the turn. Like the Diving Attack, it has a cooldown of 3 turns, but unlike Diving Attack, Diving Assault can miss entirely if all enemy creatures move out of its path. It can hit multiple creatures though, and will never hit friendly creatures. Due to a glitch, the enemy AI will never use Diving Assault, which actually makes Imperial Griffins easier to fight than Griffins.

Imperial Griffins got substantial defence boosts in recent patches, such that they're no longer dead weight, and their damage is actually decent (though still worse than Kenshi), even if their range is quite big. Diving Assault isn't as easy to use as Diving Attack, but the possibility to hit multiple stacks is quite nice. They're a solid creature for tanking hits, if a bit expensive, and they still have Unlimited Retalation. Still not really as good as Glories, though.

Well, enough stalling. The first Haven town to claim is just to the west. This is where we want to build our Town Portal, since it'll be a magnet for attacks. If we head a little west after that...

Well hello, old friend!